Flyover America: 10 Songs for an American Road Trip
Travel Blog • Sophia Dembling • 04.27.09 | 4:09 PM ET
Forty-seven percent of road trip success is having the right soundtrack. (The rest is route, scenery, and snacks.)
This week Jenna and I offer you our Flyover America Mix—10 songs each (though we could think of many more) about flyover states. Of course, road songs needn’t have places in them, but that’s just a little extra fun.
Though my musical tastes are diverse, I decided to go all country here for a couple of reasons. First, I love country music. I was, after all, the first (and so far only) nice Jewish girl from New York City to cover the country music beat for the Dallas Morning News. Second, to my mind, nothing captures the gestalt between the coasts like fiddle and steel.
You might also notice my soft spot for cheesy ‘70s country. I have no excuse for that. Deal with it. I’ll let Jenna appeal to the sophisticates among you with her upcoming post.
We look forward to hearing your additions to the mix.
Big City (Merle Haggard) If I ever do drop out, it will be in Montana. Or possibly Cody, Wyoming—anyone got a song about that town?
Texas in My Rear View Mirror (Mac Davis) No matter where they roam, Texans tend to return home. I’d always liked this song, then I interviewed Mac Davis a few years back (about Lubbock and Buddy Holly) and his sexy voice made me all swoony. So it’s an extra-favorite now.
I’ve Been Everywhere (Johnny Cash) Someday I’ll learn all the lyrics to this road trip anthem. Until then, I’ll just keep mumbling along.
Nashville Cats (The Lovin’ Spoonful) Cute lyrics. “Well, there’s sixteen thousand eight hundred twenty one mothers from Nashville; All their friends play music, and they ain’t uptight if one of the kids will.”
Wild Montana Skies (John Denver and Emmylou Harris) Two beautiful voices harmonizing on a beautiful tune. Hokey, yes, but it always conjures for me the image of an eagle soaring in that wild Montana sky.
Wichita (The Jayhawks) I haven’t been to Wichita yet, but I’ll be looking for smiling fields when I finally visit.
You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma (David Frizzell and Shelly West) A guilty pleasure, to be sure. Delicious schmaltz about being homesick for my new favorite state.
Dallas (The Flatlanders) Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s high-lonesome voice and the slightly ominous minor key conjure up my hometown perfectly. And this song puts the “flyover” in flyover state, asking, “Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?”
Miles and Miles of Texas (Asleep at the Wheel) A little Texas swing always works and no lyric describes a Texas road trip better.